Review: The Other Sister
Kensington Books/Dafina
July 2020
Mainstream Fiction
REVIEWER: Brenda Larnell | RATING: A
REVIEW: Kimberly Maitland-Graham, the heroine of this story, is an accomplished woman, loving mother, faithful wife, and popular candidate for State Senator. Kimberly’s life is full and rewarding until a rising star journalist uncovers her true family background. That’s when Kimberly’s life begins to unravel.

Talented writer, Donna Hill, pens a powerful page-turner that exposes a family secret that leaves the heroine reeling. Not only does this secret affect her and her immediate family, but it also affects the journalist, Zoie Crawford, who literally holds her future and Kimberly’s in an article she writes. The storyline is ripe with cultural taboos, secret deals, interracial prejudices, mistrust, and societal norms. Ms Hill does a masterful job in relating this tale of two families whose history reveals “old beliefs and prejudices”.

The story takes place in a city that has evolved from a diverse and distinctive slave culture mix. The “Crescent City”, “The Big Easy”, or “NOLA”, all refer to New Orleans, the perfect backdrop for this story. I love how the author goes all in from the first pages of the Prologue when Zoie confronts Kimberly. It’s a staggering revelation considering Kimberly’s status and lifestyle. Chapter after chapter, Ms Hill painstakingly connects the dots that eventually reforms, reinvents, and reestablishes Kimberly Maitland-Graham’s life. It’s a riveting metamorphosis, and we are right there every step of the way. There are a number of moments and conversations infused throughout the story that will resonate with you.

The supporting characters have prominent roles that help to move the storyline along. The New Orleans family members are instrumental in the outcome of this story. Kimberly’s “nemesis”, Zoie, also has a “come to Jesus” moment that affects her life and her relationship with Kimberly. I can’t leave out Kimberly’s husband, Rowan, whose true colors come to light to Kimberly’s detriment. The last chapter delivers a beautiful resolution that solidifies the fact that there is nothing as important as family.

I enjoyed this enlightening and entertaining story, and I recommend it. If you want to get the full effect of this story, I suggest that you read the prequel,
A HOUSE DIVIDED. It’s Zoie’s story. THE OTHER SISTER is so well-written, it can be read as a stand-alone. The Discussion Questions at the end of the novel that are included as a guide for reading groups is an added bonus.

1st July 2020 |